THESE BROKEN STARS (Starbound#1)
Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published: December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.
How do you live again, knowing what waits for you in the end?
These Broken Stars is kind of a star-crossed lovers sci-fi survival tale. It sounds like a lot to be packed into a book, but the story turns out to be mostly uneventful. Woven between the characters’ instalove and the main mystery is an arc that basically consists of the two characters, Tarver and Lilac, waking up + looking for shelter/food + sleeping; rinse and repeat.
I do have to say that despite the repetition and slow pace, the writing was still strong enough to keep me interested. The style is beautiful and the story has really strong descriptions, which bring you right into the planets and spaceships the authors have created. But even with the vivid imaginary, the book lacks world-building. We aren’t given explanations about most things, which kind of leave you floating along as the story progresses.
The main characters are fun to read about, although Lilac is rather difficult to like at the beginning. Her character development is super satisfying, though, as she changes due to the dangerous situations she finds herself in and grows as a person. Tarver was a sweet guy, which a nice contrast to him being a soldier.
The insta-love between them is there and in full force. I understand them growing closer while stranded on a strange planet, but it was present since they met. Their feelings for each other didn’t feel genuine and believable to me, which took a little away from my enjoyment of the book, since it focuses a lot on that aspect.
One aspect that is really interesting — and that I wish we had seen more of — is the main mystery the plot touches on. It is full of twists and turns as Lilac and Tarver explore the planet, and it brings a lot of tension to the story. It was a delight to see it all unfold, but a little disappointing to get only a few paragraphs to explain everything.
Overall, These Broken Stars is an enjoyable read. The characters are developed, the concept is unique and has a lot of potential to be explored further, which hopefully will happen in the next installments.